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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Good Man’s Promises to God

By Richard Mather (1596–1669)

[Born in Lancashire, England, 1596. Died at Dorchester, Mass., 1669. Promissiones Deo factæ, per me, Richardum Matherum. 21 D. 6 M. 1633. Given in Cotton Mather’s Magnalia.]

TO be more painful and diligent in private preparations for preaching, by reading, meditation and prayer; and not slightly and superficially.

In and after preaching to strive seriously against inward pride and vainglory.

Before and after preaching, to beg by prayer the Lord’s blessing on his word, for the good of souls, more carefully than in time past.

To be more frequent in religious discourse and talk.

To be more careful in catechising children. And therefore to bestow some pains this way, every week once; and if by urgent occasions it be sometimes omitted, do it twice as much another week.

To strive more against worldly cares and fears, and against the inordinate love of earthly things.

To be more frequent and constant in private prayer.

To practise more carefully, and seriously, and frequently the duty of self-examination; especially before the receiving of the Lord’s Supper.

To strive against carnal security, and excessive sleeping.

To strive against vain jangling, and misspending precious time.

To be more careful and zealous, to do good unto their souls, by private exhortations, reproofs, instructions, conferences of God’s word.

To be ready to do offices of love and kindness, not only or principally for the praise of men, to purchase commendation for a good neighbor, but rather out of conscience to the commandment of God.

Renewed with a profession of disabilities in myself, for performance, and of desire to fetch power from Christ, thereunto to live upon him, and act from him, in all spiritual duties.—15 D. 6 M. 1636.